November 2nd, 2012 11:49 AM
The good old J-Frame may have prevented a crime today…
I usually take public transportation to downtown Dallas where I work. Today I had to run an errand in the morning so I had to drive. I parked in a lot a couple of blocks from my office. I went to the credit card machine in the middle of the lot to pay for parking and get the receipt to place on top of the dash of my car. This is the way you pay in these lots.
As I was walking back to my car to leave the receipt on top of the dash and go to work, a bus stopped in front on the lot and a couple of guys started walking cutting across the lot to another bus top on the other side of the block. As I was walking a tall man started saying hi to me, but it was clear I didn’t know him and he didn’t know me. I ignored him… and cut across a separate row of cars to avoid crossing his path. At this point he changed course so we would cross paths.
He could be a beggar as there are many in this part of town or he could be something worse. He continued to walk towards me even though I ignored him and walked away from him. I was trying to avoid eye contact but as he continued to walk towards me I put my right hand in my pocket and pushed the thumb tab of my holster and dislodged my S&W 442 from its holster but I didn’t pull it out of the pocket.
It so happened that when I did this, the man saw me put my hand in my pocket and grab something. To my knowledge my handgun was still concealed… but he definitely knew what I was doing. The expression in his face immediately changed to fright and he stopped walking towards me and started walking towards his original path to the bus stop on the other side of the lot. He didn’t take his eyes off of me… and he said “have a good day”. I said “you too”.
Best scenario my revolver saved me from an overly aggressive beggar. In the worst scenario this guy was going to attack me and my gun saved the day. You always get a rush of adrenaline when something like this happens. I have been thinking a lot about what happened… I was wearing dress pants… the 442 is a bit too large for pocket carry with dress pants but it was probably big enough to give him a good print when I grabbed it in my pocket. It worked in my favor that my pocket holster is leather and has a thumb tab. That allowed me to pull the weapon out of the holster and then to re-holster without taking it out of the pocket.
In the end I am blessed nothing happened. This has reinforced the belief you should always be armed.
I just wanted to share…. Share your thoughts if something like this happened to you.
November 2nd, 2012 12:02 PM
I'm glad it turned out ok.
Sometimes avoiding eye contact and ignoring is good, sometimes it presents the image of a head down, not paying attention, victim. What some call a "sheep". I prefer to make that eye contact, let them know I see them, am on to their game, and I'm not interested. Here in FL the winter population of homeless nomads is arriving and I'm encountering more panhandlers every day. I can't get gas or go to WalMart without meeting a few.
Try not to screw up so bad they name the screw up after you. (Station 15 saying)
NRA Certifed Instructor
November 2nd, 2012 12:04 PM
Glad it went well .
I had a pocket deal this week too .
Walking Pebbels and Guy gets out of Taxi Cab , Cab leaves this guy does the long stare thing at us .
He starts to walk right at us I put my right hand in pocket he went the other way real quick.
November 2nd, 2012 12:26 PM
This is the main reason why I pocket carry...hand already on pistol. I like to call this "preventative carry", meaning hand already on weapon to prevent an incident...if needed. Your awareness is what saved you! Glad all went well!!
November 2nd, 2012 12:27 PM
First, welcome to the forum. Second, glad everything worked out OK for you. I'm also of the school that believes it is better to make brief eye contact, let them know you are aware of the situation, and that you are not a "sheep". I don't mean look at them in a challenging way--just that you are aware of your surroundings and on guard! Stay safe.
Live to ride, ride to live. Harley Road King
And keep a .45 handy
Kimber Custom TLE II
November 2nd, 2012 01:21 PM
Good comment about the eye contact. Avoiding eye contact sometimes works with beggars/people looking for attention... but I will definitely make sure I give a potential attacker a firm glance if I feel threatened again...
JDE101 - Thank you for the welcome. I have a CHL and had the handgun bug bite about a year ago... so I have been reading a lot. This is the first time I felt the need to post.
Last edited by rugerista; November 2nd, 2012 at 01:22 PM.
November 2nd, 2012 01:26 PM
Welcome to the forum! I too am a member of the make eye contact school, just try to be cognizant of the line between acknowledge and challenge. In your case, I think that changing directions communicated that you were on to him, but may have also made you come across as submissive, at least until your hand went to your pocket. In any case, it all worked out well and you can count it as another case of where good SA saved the day.
November 2nd, 2012 01:36 PM
LOL....didnt need the actual gun for that move....I've gotten the same reactions when going for my cell phone. I did make eye contact in those instances however.
Fortune favors the bold.
Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.
The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)
November 2nd, 2012 01:44 PM
Good deal. Deterrence is the best crime prevention technique. My son, who incidentally has a gun from the same family (637), had a similar experience walking downtown where panhandling is common. Most of the time you can flip them a quarter or say you're broke or whatever and everything's cool, but this one guy wouldn't stop harassing my son (which is illegal in Durham -- i.e. "aggressive panhandling") so finally he lifted his shirt a little to expose a little of his J-frame and the bum turned and walked away.
Later I asked a cop friend if what my son did was on the up and up, like, would it be considered brandishing, and the LEO said no, he doesn't know anybody in LE who would consider that brandishing given the circumstances and that was what he'd have done in the same situation.
NOTE to Fellow NC'ers:
While on the subject with the LEO friend, I asked him his take on the OC law in NC, which is at best muddy to every gun owner I've heard from. There's no law on NC's books one way or another about OC so there's no way you can be busted for OC since it isn't technically illegal per se. The problem, the LEO told me, is when somebody calls in a complaint that someone is displaying a weapon yadayadayada and that if anyone (LEO or not) asks them to put the gun away and they don't comply they could -- could, it's not set in stone -- be charged with GATTTOTP. That's why it's so muddy -- even among LEO's there's a huge variance as to what any individual officer would do in any given situation. I've never heard of anyone being arrested for simply OCing, but there it is. Muddy as always.
November 2nd, 2012 01:55 PM
Funny how everyone picked up on the eye contact, that was my immediate concern too! Always maintain situational awareness, and confront potential threats with direct eye contact. It is basic body language and puts you in a more dominant position than if you stare at the ground or disengage eye contact.
Think of how animals work. Stare at a dog and often it will cower as it realises you are the dominant entity. Treat would-be threats likewise; show that you will not be intimidated.
Otherwise, glad everything worked out well!
November 2nd, 2012 02:40 PM
Thanks for sharing your incident there rugerista! I think the "J" might like you to take her to dinner and a movie to show your appreciation.......maybe even stop by your favorite ammo supply store and pick her up some new exotic personel defense rounds!!
November 2nd, 2012 03:16 PM
The NC "GATTTOTP" law needs a Supreme Court test. As to the muddy waters on OC, one must be in violation of a state statute (or local ordinance in some cases) to create a criminal act. It there is no statute forbiding or restricting OC, then there is no law to be violated, thus no crime.
Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid...
"For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield
November 2nd, 2012 03:16 PM
Tell your cop friend to check with his leagl rep. Just because you have a open carry weapon in your holster does not constitute a viloation of GATTTOTP. I got this from another web site. Sure, he can charge you with it but it wont stick.
Originally Posted by dbglock
"By common law in North Carolina, it is unlawful for a person to arm himself/herself with any unusual and dangerous weapon, for the purpose of terrifying others, and go about on public highways in a manner to cause terror to others."
Now, this is a very complex sentence, with 4 distinct qualifying phrases, ALL FOUR of which must be met for one to be guilty of this violation.
Let be break it down, grammar-school style for y'all... ;-)
By common law in North Carolina,
(meaning this is NOT a Statutory law or a Code--it is a convention based on court case decisions over decades or even centuries of common law)
(1) it is unlawful for a person to arm himself/herself with any unusual and dangerous weapon,
(meaning it shall be considered a legally punishable violation for a person to equip themselves with a weapon--and the courts have ruled that this covers a LOT of things, including firearms and swords, HOWEVER, you ALSO have to meet the other THREE conditions for there to be a violation...)
(2) for the purpose of terrifying others,
(meaning the person being charged had the specific intent of carrying the above-mentioned weapon in order to terriy other people--not for self-defense, or sporting purposes, or as some sort of public exercise of his 1A and 2A rights. And even if you meet #1 and #2, you STILL have to meet the other TWO conditions for this charge to "stick"...)
(3) and go about on public highways
(meaning you have to be carrying the above-mentioned weapon on a road or public sidewalk. NOT on private property (your own or someone else's). Not in a parking lot of a private business. For this charge to be applicable, you HAVE to meet #1, #2, and #4, AND be doing all those things while on a public road, highway, sidewalk, etc...)
(4) in a manner to cause terror to others.
(meaning that the WAY you are carrying this above-mentioned weapon has to be such that any reasonable person might feel threatened. It could be in a holster, but you are shouting that "I'm gonna shoot that dirty so-and-so". Maybe you are resting your hand on the grips and muttering to yourself. Maybe you are holding it and waving it around. Or maybe you have it tucked into your pants, "Mexican Carry" style and are shouldering your way through a crowd or being really rude and obnoxious to other people. All that matters is that the way you are carrying or handling the firearm would give a normal, rational citizen cause to think that you were a SERIOUS danger.
It should be noted that the courts have rules that OC in a holster, absent grabbing the grips, pointing to it, or otherwise intentionally doing something to make people notice that you are carrying a firearm does NOT qualify as meeting #4...)
Hopefully that clears "Going Armed to the Terror of the People."
The "benchmark" case in NC on this violation is "State vs. Robert S. Huntley" from the spring of 1843.
STATE v. ROBERT S. HUNTLEY.
The most IMPORTANT part of understanding the GAttTotP violation in NC is that this is a "crime of intent". This means that th violator had to have the SPECIFIC intention of doing the things outlined in the law as being conditions for the violation. This charge is NOT based on the feelings, perceptions, prejudices or tender sensibilities of an outside observer.
Just because some bed-wetting soccer mom doesn't like the idea that a Law-Abiding Citizen has taken a personal and active role in providing for their own personal protection and self-defense, does NOT mean you can be charged with GAttTotP. Her feelings about your lawfully-carried firearm have ABSOLUTELY no bearing on the case.
Just because some carpet-bagging Yankee transplant to our fine State can't understand that Open Carry of Defensive weapons is a FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT with a history that goes back in common law at least 8 CENTURIES and their cognitive dissonance has them all dizzy and confused at the sight of a Citizen with the ability to defend themselves without relying on the non-existent "guarantee" that the police will protect them (which they CAN NOT, and are in fact, INCAPABLE of doing, and under no legal obligation to do!...), has NO BEARING whatsoever on this charge.
It all comes down to the INTENT and ACTIONS of the person being charged.
If you are a lawful OCer, carrying in a proper holster, conducting yourself in a polite, normal, and lawful manner, then there is NO WAY that this charge can be applied. End of discussion. Case Dismissed...
Equality does not exist in the real world - it is a fiction to help the self esteem of those people who consistently fail to succeed.
Retired SF(SP) CMSgt 1979-2005
November 3rd, 2012 05:49 PM
rugerista, You did fine. As other have pointed out, eye contact is your ally in such situations. Glad everything ended peacefully.
November 3rd, 2012 08:58 PM
In 27 years as a N.C. LEO I saw the "Going Armed" statute enforced one time. The man entered a department store in full cowboy gear including 2 revolvers in low slung holsters. He walked aisle to aisle and occasionally would stop, square off on a customer and place his hands on his pistols as if he was going to draw. We approached him and he explained that he was practicing for his next movie role. Bats loose in the belfry? Oh, yeah! He was asked to leave and refused so he was charged under the statute and convicted with a stipulation of his sentencing being psychiatric evaluation and treatment. While the statute is still on the books it is seldom enforced.
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